A new test method, Single-Strip Decohesion Test (SSDT), has been developed and used to measure the interfacial fracture toughness of nano-scale thin film on substrate. This fixtureless test employs a stress-engineered superlayer deposited on patterned titanium (Ti) film strips to supply the energy for the delamination from a thick silicon (Si) substrate. The amount of energy available for delamination propagation is varied by fabricating an etchable thin release layer of varying width between the film strips and the substrate. By designing a decreasing area of the release layer, it is possible to arrest the delamination at a given location, and the interfacial fracture toughness or critical energy release rate can be found at the location where the delamination ceases to propagate. Common IC fabrication techniques are used to prepare the sample and execute the test, thereby making the test compatible with current microelectronic or MEMS facilities and suitable for in process measurement of thin film adhesion strength. The methodology presented in this paper is generic in nature, and can be used to measure the process-dependent interfacial fracture toughness of various micro-scale and nano-scale thin film interfaces. Ti thin film with thickness ranging from 5nm to 100nm can be studied using this method.

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